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Renders Show Reimagined 1st & Alameda

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, May 19, 2008, at 09:49PM
1st & Alameda Render Metro

The Regional Connector's subway alignment would emerge at 1st & Alameda, creating a Y-connection with existing tracks.

Renderings presented by Metro at recent meetings show potentially huge changes for the corner of 1st & Alameda. Three layers of action could see north-south traffic bypassing the intersection from below, while fanciful elevated sidewalks would send pedestrians above the cars and trains below.

The renders are part of Metro's Alternatives Analysis study for the Regional Connector project. Metro has been working on options for connecting the potentially below-grade Connector with the above-grade Gold Line Eastside Extension, currently finishing construction.

The Regional Connector would bring together the Blue and Expo lines, currently dead-ended at 7th & Figueroa, with the Gold Line's Little Tokyo / Arts District station. The $650 - $800 million project would allow trains to run throughout the system, creating lines from Pasadena to Long Beach and East L.A. to Culver City. The Connector is expected to carry 48 trains per hour during peak periods.

A subway version of the Connector is one of two alignments receiving further study, but a connection to the Gold Line would still need to occur at-grade because of choices made in that line's design.

While concern about traffic impacts has been expressed throughout the Connector outreach process, impacts at 1st & Alameda would be especially severe. The diagonal nature of the crossing would mean the both east-west and north-south traffic would be blocked at the same time. With a train expected every 90 seconds, mitigation measures would be required to keep cars and trains from disrupting each other.

The plans shown in these renders would have four lanes of Alameda use an underpass to bypass 1st street and the train crossings. This is especially targeted toward the truck traffic that uses Alameda.

Additionally, some renders show a pair of elevated sidewalks meeting in the middle of the intersection and allowing pedestrians to cross tracks and streets uninhibited.

In order to accommodate the portal that would be needed to transition the Connector from subway to above-ground, Metro would propose to take the block currently occupied by Office Depot via eminent domain. The site would provide construction staging, and would be available for a mixed-use development once work is completed.

Those interested in hearing Metro's presentation on the project can attend the Little Tokyo Community Council's general meeting tomorrow, May 20th, at 11:45am.

Thanks to Ron for sending the renders blogdowntown's way.

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Regional Connector

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